Summary: Most of us now live under ‘finite world economics’, where population growth results in a smaller share of wealth for each individual and the majority of the population, but increased revenues for Governments, nationwide businesses and multinationals who gain revenue from the entire population. The rich win, the rest suffer.
The now finite World
When Christopher Columbus set sail for America, no one had a world map, doubt about a map the included America. When Captain Cook ‘discovered’ Australia, as it approached the year 1800, no civilization knew where all the land on Earth was located. By 1900, humans knew where all the land was, but still had not explored all that land. Now (2017 at the time of writing), we basically know where all the land is and have even allocated ownership and mineral rights of all the land. Our world is now finite.
The post explores the ‘finite’ world concept, then discuss each of the two dynamics resulting in the widening of the gap between rich and poor. Continue reading
The current wealth distribution system is an already a broken system about to face severe attack. As discussed in Robots & Job Terminators, the role of employment is set to change.
On engadget, the post How will you survive when the robots take your job? outlines the ‘basic income’ proposal, as put forward by many in the tech industry and being experimented with in Canada, Finland and the Netherlands. This articles provides a great starting point and conveys the basic idea and if unfamiliar with the idea it makes sense to read that article first. This post is about looking further, in terms of thoughts about what else should change if a ‘basic income’ is introduced and what would be needed to make such an idea work. What would such a measure cost, and what would be the impact on society of a total package, of a ‘basic income’ together with a logical set of policies to create a total package? Continue reading
A first reaction could be: “ok, the people who voted for Donald Trump clearly feel it is broken, but I am not sure they are that smart”, or “I am doing ok, and I think the system is fair. Yes people like that Elon Musk character have ‘X’ times more than me but he is also ‘X’ times more clever than me so he deserves it!”.
But the system feels sufficiently broken to those who voted for Trump, that they were desperate enough to vote for him, and there appears to be some similarity with the ‘Brexit’ vote in the UK. Something has to change, even if it is just perception or we are going to keep having to live with these kinds of election results.
Also, either Elon Musk is really clever, in which case we should listen when he is proposing that we need to make changes to wealth distribution (soon, if not now), or, he is not clever, in which case he does not deserve his wealth. Either way, we need to consider changes. Continue reading
As explained by ‘Alan Kohler’ of the ABC, the record trade surplus is largely due to “A huge rebound in iron ore, coal and gold exports delivers a record trade surplus of $3.5 billion in December, providing a big boost to national income.”, with no proportional increase in imports.
I suggest an analysis of the impact on the Australian economy is reason for people around the world to consider the impact of automation.